Thursday, November 10, 2011
I have treated myself to a Slice Fabrique from Making Memories. I watched lots of videos on the net and read up about it before I bought it and was well impressed. However when I got it home I found it wasn't as brilliant as I had expected. That isn't to say that it isn't good but it is NOT the next best thing to sliced bread!
It is light and compact and comes with everything one needs to get going. However having said that the adhesive supplied with the machine isn't the best! And only three small pieces of transfer adhesive are supplied! I put too much of the adhesive on to begin with which was a mistake as the fabric slipped around on it. Also I didn't let it dry sufficiently so my impatience to get going didn't help. As well as the kit I also bought the 12" hands free kit which was well worth it and some spray adhesive which is MUCH better.
So the glass mat is tacky with adhesive and I've put some transfer adhesive onto a 12" square of cotton poplin fabric. This is now my second attempt having not been very successful with my first attempt due to the reasons stated above. I'm using the transfer adhesive that I always use as that way I can have a larger piece of fabric on the glass. The disks with the designs on are easy to insert and have a large number of designs including letters and numbers. The machine comes with a basic applique disk which is very good. I also bought the Christmas disk. To access the designs one pushes buttons on the front of the machine and when one has chosen a design then one can choose the size. Designs can be cut from 1" to 4" in 1/2" increments. They can also be mirror imaged and a shadow effect can be got. On some of the disks there is a layering technique which is useful.
It is important to make sure that the fabric is smoothed down onto the glass mat thoroughly so that it won't move while the machine is cutting. Once the design is chosen all one has to do is select it to put the cutter into position and then hit the on button. Within seconds the design is cut. It does make a fair amount of noise while it is cutting! Then one lifts up the cutter and voila upon lifting the fabric one has a cut out design. I found that it was easier to lift the cut out design using a paint spatula but you can buy spatulas for doing this from Making Memories (or local supplier).
I like to utilise every scrap of fabric and this wasn't the simplest of things to achieve. Possibly with time I may find it easier. I did manage to cut out enough numbers to make an advent calendar but not without a few problems along the way. One of the problems is that if one cuts too close to a previous cut the fabric screws up. Also the blades seem to blunt very quickly and a blunt or nearly blunt blade doesn't like cutting curves! Blades cost £12 for 5 so they arn't that cheap! However they do seem to be easy to change. There are three blades that come with the machine plus one that is already installed. The instruction book is quite good but could be better.
What I found was that I couldn't rely on getting a good cut each time. I would think that I was going along swimmingly and then it would crack up. Most annoying! I did cut different types of fabric such as silk and rayon and they cut OK. And using 505 one can adhere copy paper onto the fabric if one doesn't want transfer adhesive. For example cutting patchwork shapes. At the end of the day I think the biggest problem is knowing when the cutting blades are giving up the ghost and changing them.
Am I pleased I have one? Yes and no! The pros are that it is quick and cuts shapes that would be fiddly if having to be done by hand. It is light and also works both on the battery and plugged into the electric. It holds a charge for a long time! So would be good for taking to class. The designs are good and the design cards are not expensive when one considers that one is getting fifty or so designs each of which can be of several sizes. It works well on paper so could be good for card making or labels. It is quick in its operation.
On the con side it doesn't always give one the result one is expecting. One can waste a lot of fabric. It is necessary to have a fair number of spare blades on hand. The adhesive supplied in the kit isn't useful. It is necessary to have the spray adhesive.
At the end of the day I think I am glad I have one and the more I use it the more I will learn about it. For anyone who loves applique as I do it will open up a whole new world. The main thing is not to let it stress you out and to take it slowly when starting! It is allowed to yell at it! lol